Another great ride today. My training is on course with 40 miles done. I was also very pleased that I maintained last week’s average of 14.5 mph. And that was with battling through 20 mph headwinds gusting as hard as 32 mph. Looking good for the 60 mile Essex Countryside Ride. Now for a nice hot shower.
This got a lot of media coverage like all things ridiculous so. But I thought I would also record it for prosperity anyway. At little more than the length of a single bicycle, the £2,000 road marking has left cyclists in Cardiff bemused. The feature, thought to be the shortest cycle lane in Britain, has been installed to encourage green transport.
Cardiff Council claims that it will help riders safely navigate a turn on a new road layout. But riders in the city say the brevity of the red and white marked stretch of road renders it pointless. Kevin Hughes, 47, a cyclist from the Welsh city, said: "It's just hilarious. I saw it as I was cycling past and couldn't believe my eyes. "Obviously nobody could cycle in it because it is so small. You just have time to get in the saddle before getting off again." Mr Hughes, a member of Cardiff Ajax Cycling Club, added: "I posted a picture of it on the club forum and it's started a bit of a laugh. "I've got no idea why it would be there. You couldn't ride a bike down there anyway because cars go flying past." Campaigners also questioned why the local authority has spent money on the cycle lane, which takes less than a second to cover before rejoining the main carriageway. Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is just this sort of waste that raises the hackles of taxpayers. “At a time when taxes are rising, people are rightly angered when they see their hard-earned money being thrown away on schemes like this.” A Cardiff Council spokesman said the lane is intended to "highlight the interface between the eastbound carriageway and the beginning of a new contraflow facility". He said it would help cyclists cross the busy city centre and give them somewhere safe to stop before turning. He said: "The purpose of the new facility is to enable cyclists to ride safely and legally in the opposite direction to the flow of traffic. "The marking helps to highlight the point at which cyclists can turn left off the carriageway to join the contraflow facility."
It is time to forget about fair weather cycling and get out there no matter what.
With four weeks to go until the Essex Countryside ride, I need to increase my training by five miles a week to even stand a chance of competing. Yes I know it is easier riding in an event than solo, but confidence also counts. And this is my least favourite ride of the year – but it still has to be done. So here’s the plan:
This is my 13 mile training circuit which I ride in reverse as a figure of 8 to extend it to 26 miles. This equals out any hills and headwinds. It is the same route as the Southend Bikeathon in recent years.
Click on the map title for a full screen version
It’s a risky business being a cyclist in the UK, there are a lot of people who really dislike us. It’s the Jeremy Clarkson influence – we’re hated on the roads. We just hope people realise we are just flesh and bones on two wheels.” Victoria Pendleton, gold medal winner in the women’s sprint at the Beijing Olympics, 2008.
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle, Scientific American, 1896
“Riding a bike is everything to a cyclist. The friendship and camaraderie you have with other cyclists …to a cyclist, it was the be-all and end-all of your life.” Tommy Godwin, double bronze medal winner in the 1,000m time trial and the team pursuit in the 1948 Olympics in London.
“There is something about the miscreant cyclist that seems to get people more exercised than they are about the misbehaving motorist…When people get into cars, their metal encasement turns them into robots in our minds, and we’re grateful to them for any act of courtesy. We’re grateful that they don’t deliberately kill children, then laugh a rasping, metallic laugh…[Cyclists] are more civic-minded than anyone else travelling in any other manner, bar by foot. If they do run into someone, they at least (like the bee) do their victim the favour of hurting themselves in the process, which is why, if you had any sense, you’d save your hatred for the motorist, who (like the wasp) injures without care.” Zoe Williams, The Guardian, 4th February 2006
Felt is an American bicycle manufacturer based in Irvine, California. Felt specializes in high-end bicycles at low prices. In the early 1990s the company was founded by Jim Felt. Felt have managed to keep prices low by having no formal advertising campaign, choosing to let brand recognition come from word-of-mouth. Felt has gone from strength-to-strength, going from just six bike models in the USA to over 140 bike models, sold across 27 countries. Felt have created a niche group of highly skilled and dedicated people who work together to create bicycles that consistently exceed their riders’ expectations by providing a sense of individuality, inspiration and pride in ownership. Felt are not governed by their competitors’ measurements of success - the desire to push beyond the limits of technology never allows Felt to rest on their laurels. As their universal mission statement suggests, Felt’s reason for existing is “To design, develop, and deliver the best bicycles in the world. Period.”
FELT Z70 Specification
Frame FELT Relaxed Racing Specific Geometry Felt F-Lite Butted 7005 Aluminium with Smooth Welding, Forged Dropout and Replaceable Hanger.
Fork Carbon Design with 3K Carbon Fibre Blades, 1-1/8" ALLOY Steerer and Alloy Crown (20%)
Headset FSA 1-1/8" Integrated with 20mm Cone and 4X5mm Washer Stack
Stem FELT 2.1 Adjustable 6061 3D Forged with +/-8-16 Degree Rise, 51cm=80mm, 54cm=90mm, 56cm=100mm, 58cm-61cm=110mm.